Genre: Party
Year: 2000
Developed by: Hudson Soft
Published by: Nintendo
Platforms: N64
Feeling Like: But she’s got a new hat!

Bumper Balls, Hot Rope Jump and Cowboy Hats. Eric Schneider’s house on Clarke Road. The continuation of one of the smartest, dopiest, friendship-ruining franchise known as Mario Party 2 takes the original, adds in a bunch of new boards with an increased amount of personality AND, most importantly, all the characters look absolutely ridiculous in the various hats and costumes they wear.

Pertaining to the different boards, like Western Land, Pirate Land and Space Land, Mario and his buddies feel the need to dress up in gear that really is more hilarious than the situation deserves. Gameplay is very familiar and similar; board games plus Nintendo, minus a few colleagues after the game is over and you’ve got Mario Party 2. 

I am still flummoxed at the opening scene. Mario and his pals decide to create a new land. CREATE a new LAND? Are they all omnipotent gods, with the power of the cosmos at their hands? It’s never explained, but whatever Nintendo was cooking up as an explanation wouldn’t have sufficed. I mean, talking turtle dragons and magic mushrooms are one thing. Using unseen powers to create mystery-themed, giant board worlds is bat-shit. Can you imagine if people in real life had that kind of ability? We’d be looking at thousands of iterations of Cocaine Land and Hooker Land within seconds.

I can’t get over these hats.

There’s something to be said for a multiplayer game that enables everybody, regardless of experience, to hop in and have a (roughly) equal chance of winning. There’s no ultra combos here, not a ton of skill involved. We’re all at the mercy of Boo, Bowser and almighty Random Number Generator, or the dice/die if you want to go back a generation on lingo.

It really is fun, but I still couldn’t help but be REALLY bored during other people’s turns. If you’re paying attention and just mash ‘A’, your turn shouldn’t last more than five seconds. For whatever reason, an opponent’s turn seems intolerable if it lasts any more than this. God forbid if they want to use an item, or engage in one of the many tourist-y attractions on the board, like hear what Toad has to say, or gulp down some magic potion, or switch routes by using a skeleton key. HURRY UP, I just want to play Bumper Balls.

At the end of the game, there’s a cut scene that shows Bowser trying to steal some gold, wearing an awesome Cowboy Hat of course. There’s a dramatic reveal, which deputy is here to stop him? Why…IT’S THE WINNER OF THE GAME of course! It never failed to make me laugh. I’m sure there are other endings for other “Lands”, but they couldn’t possibly be as cool.

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